What are the challenges of trying to break through as a Scottish Children’s Author & Illustrator in 2021?

With the ever growing opportunities and tools available to create and publish your own books in the year 2021 the book and publishing industry is becoming an ever crowded space. Everyone with the will, time and energy has the tools at their fingertips to self-publish. The big challenge is standing out from the crowd and breaking through to make an honest and financially rewarding career for yourself whether you are a writer or illustrator. Today with great platforms such as Amazon books, Apple Books, Smashwords and Kobo to name just a few you can upload an ebook, paperback in a matter of minutes. For me being a successful Scottish Children’s Author & Illustrator in 2021 is about being unique and different and yourself.

My experience as a Scottish Children’s Author & Illustrator in 2021 has shown me that success like anything in life takes persistence, hard work and attention to detail and approaching book selling like any other business. Creating a great product that people want yo buy and finding effective ways to market and sell your books to the correct customer in the most effective and intelligent way possible.

My tips for new authors & illustrators!

Crunch down who you are as an author? What genre, style, reader do you relate to? What do you understand and know better than anyone? What unique perspective or story do you want to share with others? What drives and motivates you to write or illustrate? Who is your tribe, clan or group of readers and book buyers that share your thinking and ideas?

Understand the industry of self publishing and publishing!

Do you want to be totally autonomous and independent? Do you have the skills and talents to market your books yourself?

OR

Do you want the prestige of a publishing deal and allow others to market and sell your books for you?

Shortcuts in self publishing!

Some simple basic advice I would give to anyone pursuing a future in self publishing whether your a children’s orauthor or adult is ;

  • Read & Research
  • Plan & Prepare
  • Get Tech savy
  • Go big on social media

Read & Research

Next have a direct strategy starting with Amazon & Smashwords profiles and accounts sort the rest later. Master amazon self publishing first especially if you are an illustrator Kindle Create & Kindle Kids’ Book Creator are so straight forward to master. You will find all the data, software and technical advice through your KDP account sign-up. Set up your full author profile on Author Central (sign-up on every continent available). Remember to set up your accounts in both the USA & UK very important.

Your second target is Smashwords your middle man upload to Smashwords and get straight into to lots of retailers incl. APPLE, BARNESANDNOBLE, GARDNERS, KOBO, ODILO & SCRIBD to just name a few. Download your FREE guides on formatting for Smashwords from founder Mark Coker Book Marketing Guide, Ebook Publishing Success & Smashwords Style Guide.

Plan & Prepare

Also have a planned strategy for your goals and objectives as an author or illustrator. Is this a hobby or future career? Set goals from sales revenues, no. of book sales, free give aways and launches.

Get Tech Savy

Read all the technical small print from accurate planning of your book templates for picture books to formatting for heavy text writing and creating your own templates for future use when coming to publish your 2nd, 3rd and 4th book.

Read, research, read technical blogs of other self published authors and great advisors i.e. The Creative Penn

Go Big on social media

Lastly ensure you understand all the big social media platforms and their different uses, benefits and down falls as a Scottish children’s Author & Illustrator I have realised how important the continuity of using the same profile URL is in not loosing followers .

Ensure you can secure a memorable name & identity the same across all platforms from Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest to Linkedin. More importantly get visible on book reader hubs i.e. Goodreads and Wattpad.

Discover how to use FREE software like Hootsuite to push out multiple social media adverts in on go.

Most importantly as a new author or illustrator just take that first step and get creating and writing, the first step is always the most difficult!